Alvaro Romero

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TITLE: Assistant Professor

RESEARCH AREA: Urban Entomology

OFFICE LOCATION: 945 College Ave MSC 3BE, Skeen Hall N256, Las Cruces, NM, 88011

LABORATORY LOCATION: Urban Entomology Research Center. 970 Frenger St.

EMAIL ADDRESS: aromero2@nmsu.edu

OFFICE ADDRESS: 575-646-5550

EDUCATION

  • Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, 1995, National University, Colombia
  • MSc in Veterinary Entomology, 2005, Kansas State University with Drs. Alberto Broce and Ludek Zurek
  • PhD in Medical Entomology, 2009, University of Kentucky with Drs. Ken Haynes and Mike Potter
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Project: "Sensory Ecology of the Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius: Host-Seeking Behavior" North Carolina State University with Dr. Coby Schal (Oct 2010-Dec 2011)

ALVARO ROMERO-RESEARCH INTEREST

My research interests and activities are based upon my desire to work at the interface of urban entomology, chemical ecology, toxicology, and animal behavior. The approach I endeavor to take is one that strikes a balance between basic and applied research. My career objectives are to 1) explore research opportunities into insects in the urban environment at an institution fostering collaborative relationships; 2) serve as an educator and mentor to future scientists; and 3) serve as a bridge between the scientific community and minority groups to educate on identification, biology, and effective ways to prevent and reduce the impact of urban pests.

I am particularly interested in basic and applied research on blood feeding insects. Bed bugs have resurged as the most pressing emerging issue in urban entomology reducing quality of life in affected people. The sudden resurgence of bed bugs and the limited knowledge of their biology presents many challenges for the bed bug management today. Thus, my research objectives are designed to provide not only practical information for the pest control industry and its stakeholders, but also to begin to resolve the knowledge vacuum that surrounds this pest.

A second area of interest are kissing bugs. Although few locally-transmitted cases of Chagas disease have been reported in the United States, the disease is considered an emerging public health threat because of the widespread prevalence of T. cruzi among sylvan and domestic animals, the increasing recognition of endemic areas of Chagas disease in some parts of the United States and the seasonal dispersion of adult triatomines (Triatoma sp.) competent for T. cruzi transmission that readily invade houses and feed on humans. In light of changing climates, changing patterns of human movement, and growing socioeconomic inequality in the United States, feeding activity of kissing bugs generally, and T. rubida in particular, represents a serious, hitherto-unrecognized, health risk. My program conduct research to unravel the sensory ecology of host-seeking by important southwestern triatomines and to identify attractant cues that can be used for the development of effective traps for monitoring and controlling triatomines in the United States.

My last active area of research are Turkestan cockroaches. The Turkestan cockroach, Blatta lateralis has become an important invasive urban pest throughout the Southwestern United States. In Arizona and New Mexico, hundreds of Turkestan cockroaches are seen in animal feed mills, around sheep feeders, and places where animal manure accumulates. These cockroaches occasionally invade human environments through holes, cracks, and gaps between doors and floors. Infestations of Turkestan cockroaches in indoor areas can lead to airborne exposure to allergens derived from saliva, feces, and shed exuvia of cockroaches that trigger both asthma and allergies in sensitized people. My laboratory is exploring the use of botanical insecticides as alternatives of traditional insecticides for the control of this cockroach in urban environments. Also, I am interested in the study of sexual behavior and characterization of sexual pheromones of Turkestan cockroaches that can be potentially used in trapping systems.

RESEARCH AREAS

BED BUGS

  • Sensory ecology of bed bugs related with host seeking behavior

  • Feeding behavior in bed bugs

  • Microbe-bed bug interactions

  • Trapping systems for bed bugs

  • Effectiveness of insecticides against bed bugs

  • Monitoring insecticide resistance in bed bug populations around the world

  • Repellents against bed bugs

TURKESTAN COCKROACHES

  • Sexual behavior

  • Bionomics

  • Control and prevention with botanical insecticides

  • Cultural Management

KISSING BUGS

  • Sensory ecology of host seeking behavior

  • Development of trapping systems for triatomines

PUBLICATIONS

Romero, A., T. D. Anderson. (2016). High levels of resistance in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), to neonicotinoid insecticides. Journal of Medical Entomology 53:1-5.

Hansen, I. A., S. D. Rodriguez, L L. Drake, D. P. Price, B. N. Blakely, J. I. Hammond, H. Tsujimoto, E. Y. Monroy, W. Maio, A. Romero (2014). The odorant receptor co-receptor from the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113692. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113692

Romero A. and C. Schal. (2014). Blood constituents as phagostimulants for the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 552-557.

Romero, A. (2011). Moving from the old to the new: insecticide research on bed bugs since the resurgence. Insects 2: 210-217.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2010). Evaluation of chlorfenapyr for control of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. Pest Management Science 66: 1243-1248.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2010). Circadian rhythm of locomotor activity in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. Journal of Insect Physiology 56: 1516- 1522.

Romero, A., J. A. Hogsette, and A. Coronado. (2010). Distribution and abundance of natural parasitoid (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) populations of house flies and stable flies (Diptera: Muscidae) at the University of Florida dairy research unit. Neotropical Entomology 39: 424-429.

Ribeiro, J. M. C., I. M. Francischetti, E. Calvo, V. M. Pham, A. J. Favreau, K. D. Barbian, A. Romero, and J. G. Valenzuela. (2010). An insight into the sialome of the bed bug Cimex lectularius. Journal of Proteome Research 9: 3820-3831.

Zhu, F., J. Wigginton, A. Romero, A. Moore, K. Ferguson, R. Palli, M. F. Potter, K. F. Haynes, and S. R. Palli. (2010). Widespread distribution of knockdown resistance mutations in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), populations in the United States. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 73: 245-257.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2009). Evaluation of piperonyl butoxide as a deltamethrin synergist for pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs. Journal of Economic Entomology 102: 2310-2315.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2009). Behavioral responses of the bed bug to insecticide residues. Journal of Medical Entomology 46: 51-57.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter; D. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2007). Insecticide resistance in the bed bug: A factor in the pest's sudden resurgence? Journal of Medical Entomology 44: 175-178.

Romero, A., A. Broce, and L. Zurek. (2006). Role of bacteria in the oviposition behavior and larval development of stable flies. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 20: 115-121.

Benavides, E., and A. Romero. (2000). Preliminary results of a larval resistance test to ivermectins using Boophilus microplus reference strains. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 916: 610-612.

Benavides, E., O. Vizcaino, C. M. Britto, A. Romero, and A. Rubio. (2000). Attenuated trivalent vaccine against babesiosis and anaplasmosis in Colombia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 916: 613-616.

Benavides, E., J. L. Rodriguez, and A. Romero. (2000). Isolation and partial characterization of the Montecitos strain of Boophilus microplus (Canestrini, 1877) multi-resistant to different acaricides. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 916: 668-671.

TRADE MAGAZINE ARTICLES, PROCEEDINGS, EXTENSION REPORTS

Sutherland, A., D.-H. Choe, V. Lewis, D. Young, A. Romero, H. Spafford, and D. Gouge. (2015). Survey sheds light on bed bugs in multi-unit housing. Pest Control Technology 43: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36.

Gouge, D. H., S. Li, S. Nair, T. Stock, S. Bryks, C. R. Foss, A. Romero, D. J. Young and A. Code (2014). Bed bugs. The University of Arizona - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - Cooperative Extension. 47p.

Sutherland, C. and A. Romero (2013). Sleep tight! Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite! Practical information for dealing with and eliminating bed bugs. Guide G-324. http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G324sp.pdf

Romero. A. and C. Sutherland (2013). ¡ No deje que los chinches de cama le piquen! información práctica para enfrentar y eliminar chinches de cama. Guía G-324. http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G324SP/welcome.html

Romero, A., R. G. Santangelo, and C. Schal (2012). Optimization of an in vitro system for rearing bed bugs with notes on their development on different host bloods. Proceedings National Conference on Urban Entomology, ed. by Suiter, D. R. Atlanta, Georgia, pp. 122-125.

Romero, A. Biology and management of bed bugs: a review of recent research. Seven International Conference of Urban Pests, August 16, 2011. Ouro Pretto, Brazil.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, R. Hickman and K. F. Haynes. (2010). Potential of chlorfenapyr to control bed bugs. Proceedings National Conference on Urban Entomology, ed. by Jones, S. Portland, Oregon, pp. 187-192.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2009). Are dusts the bed bug bullet? Pest Management Professional, May 2009, pp. 22-30

Potter, M. F., A. Romero, K. F. Haynes, and T. Jarzynka (2008). Bed bugs, heat and hotel rooms. Pest Control Technology Magazine, October 36: 106-121.

Haynes, K. F., A. Romero, and M. F. Potter (2008). The secret life of bed bugs. Pest World Magazine, March-April 2008: 4-8.

Potter, M. F., K. F. Haynes, A. Romero, E. Hardebeck, and W. Wickemeyer (2008). Is Phantom the bed bug answer? Pest Control Technology, June 2008: 116-124.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes (2007). Insecticide resistant bed bugs: implications for the industry. Pest Control Technology, July: 42-50.

Potter, M. F., A. Romero, and K. F. Haynes. (2008). Battling bed bugs in the USA. Proceedings Sixth International Conference of Urban Pests, ed. by Robinson WR and D. Bajomi. OOK-Press kft, Budapest, Hungary, pp. 401-406.

Romero, A. (2008). Bed bug research: catching up with a forgotten pest. Proceedings National Conference on Urban Entomology, ed. by Jones, S. Tulsa, Oklahoma, pp. 13-15.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes. (2008). Bed bug insecticide research: what have we learned? Proceedings National Conference on Urban Entomology, ed. by Jones, S. Tulsa, Oklahoma, pp. 98-101.

Romero, A., M. F. Potter; D. Potter, and K. F. Haynes (2007). Resistance to pyrethroids in field populations of the bed bug Cimex lectularius. Resistant Pest Management Newsletter, 16 (2): 29.

Potter, M. F., A. Romero, K. F. Haynes, and E. Hardebeck (2007). Killing then softly. Battling bed bugs in sensitive accounts. Pest Control Technology, January 2007: 24-32

Potter, M. F., A. Romero, K. F. Haynes, and W. Wickemeyer (2006). Battling bed bugs in apartments. Pest Control Technology, August: 44-52.

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